Dilbert, last name unknown, was let go this week from several newspapers that had been printing his bland workplace observations on their comics pages, where the pasty office drone has spent his nearly 34-year career.
Hundreds of publications in the USA Today network, along with papers under the Advance Local umbrella, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times — among others — said they were dropping the strip in the wake of creator Scott Adams’ latest incendiary comments, made in a Wednesday livestream.
“The best advice I would give to white people is to get the hell away from Black people,” Adams said with his mouth.
“Just get the fuck away. Wherever you have to go, just get away,” he went on.
And on: “There’s no fixing this. This can’t be fixed. ... You just have to escape. So that’s what I did, I went to a neighborhood where I have a very low Black population.”
Adams said pollsters had found “nearly half of all Blacks are not OK with white people,” and that meant Black people constituted “a hate group.”
“And I don’t want to have anything to do with them,” he said.
Newspaper editors then decided they didn’t want anything to do with Dilbert’s vacant, unblinking gaze.
USA Today, which is owned by Gannett, called Adams’ comments “discriminatory” in a statement posted to social media Friday. The San Antonio Express-News called them “hateful.” The Washington Post announced Saturday that the cartoon would no longer run in its editions. Editors for Advance Local publications including Cleveland’s Plain Dealer, NJ.com and MLive.com wrote letters to their readers explaining why they were opting to dump “Dilbert,” too.
“This is not a difficult decision,” wrote Chris Quinn, editor of The Plain Dealer.
John Hiner, editor of MLive.com, which serves the mid-Michigan area, refused to even link out to the video of Adams’ latest comments.
“If you are curious enough to subject yourself to that garbage, I’m sure your search engine or social media will guide you to it,” Hiner wrote.
Adams long ago outed himself as a right-wing reactionary, using his Twitter page and other venues to stan Donald Trump as far back as 2015. When protests against police brutality swelled the streets of major cities in 2020, Adams said the Black Lives Matter movement had turned into “a domestic terror organization that is setting back race relations by perhaps twenty years.”
“If Biden is elected, there’s a good chance you will be dead within the year,” he wrote in July 2020, as the Trump administration continued to fumble a comprehensive response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Republicans will be hunted,” he added.
Adams spent part of his Saturday retweeting people who agreed with his stance on Black people and suggested that even those retaliating against him did not think he was wrong.
“Imagine what would happen if they disagreed with me. Much worse,” he said with no further explanation.